The Kings didn't have many bright spots in Tuesday night's loss to the Denver Nuggets, but rookie big man Marvin Bagley III was one of them.
The No. 2 overall pick in June's draft scored a game-high -- and new career-high -- 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting on Tuesday. Seven of those points came in the fourth quarter as Denver rested its starters, but Bagley still played a game-high 32 minutes. It was just the second time he's crossed the 30-minute threshold in four NBA games.
"Every chance I get to be on the court and learn, I'm taking that," Bagley told reporters in Denver on Tuesday. "I can't take it for granted. I gotta give it my all every time I step out on the floor, no matter what the score is. I love playing this game, and I think I'd be cheating myself if I didn't go as hard as I possibly could. ... That's just my mindset going into every game."
"I think I'd be cheating myself if I didn't go as hard as I possibly could and still being a great teammate no matter what the circumstances may be."— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) October 24, 2018
Preach, @MB3FIVE. Preach. pic.twitter.com/rpiJeL9ma6
That mindset impressed his coach. Dave Joerger said in his postgame presser that Bagley has responded well to instruction in the early days of his career, and has the right attitude.
"He's a talented guy, fun to coach," Joerger said. "He's playing -- we're down 20, he's out there. He gets it. Whatever time that was, he loves being out there, and I really respect that about him. ... He loves every minute that he gets out there, and I think that's really cool."
Sacramento is likely in for quite a few nights like Tuesday. Vegas oddsmakers set the Kings' over/under on wins at 25.5 this season, the lowest in the NBA.
If his first four games are any indication, Bagley will still embrace the opportunity.